Being Frugal: Cloth Napkins

napkinsI grew up using paper napkins. Actually…we used paper towels as napkins. Quick, easy and no clean up.

But paper napkins just don’t seem very frugal to me. Cloth napkins are more environmentally friendly (if you’re concerned about that), last much longer (I haven’t had to replace any yet) and seem to work much better. And cloth napkins seem to add a special little something extra to our meals. It’s nothing to toss a couple napkins into a load of laundry that I was going to do anyway.

If you keep an eye out while you’re shopping many times you will find cloth napkins on clearance racks, especially after holidays. Cloth napkins are especially frugal when you recycle some old fabric to make them. Scrap fabrics from craft projects, old sheets, shirts, towels, table cloths or curtains etc. The fabric store I shop at always has a bargain bin of scrap fabrics that work wonderfully for napkins. And cloth napkins are easy to make, even with my limited sewing ability.  I think they would make great gifts!

So how do you make them? First cut your fabric into squares of your desired size. My store bought cloth napkins measure about 16″ but you can make them any size that works for you. I like mine to be about 12″. What ever size you want, add an inch to allow for your hems. Fold the edges over about 1/4″ and press with your iron, fold them again and press, then pin in place. Sew. I usually do one side at a time because my corners come out funny if I don’t (I’ve yet to learn how to sew pretty corners!) If you are blessed to have a serger, you don’t have to worry about adding the extra inch and hemming the edges. Now, if you are up for a bigger challenge…a table cloth would be made the same way only bigger.

What are you working on?


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